Conversation Starter

Warren 8

For Warren Rochelle, professor of English, a class is a conversation where knowledge goes both ways. “Classes are conversations between students and the professor. Knowledge isn’t static,” he said. “We make and discover meaning in conversation, whether it is a conversation with self, with a text, and in this case, in a classroom, with those who are participating in the class. Students bring knowledge to the table, as does the professor, and then through the give-and-take of a class discussion, through responses to a lecture, through blog posts, meaning is explored and developed.” His goal is for students to achieve mastery of the subject and feel engaged with the material. To make the coursework come alive for his students, Rochelle encourages discussions in small groups. An accomplished science fiction writer in his own right and one of the Princeton Review’s 300 Best Professors, Rochelle’s passion for fantasy and science fiction is evident in his classes. … [Read more...]

UMW Alumna’s Research is “Eye-Opening” Experience

Shirin Afsous (right) is assisting Leila Asadi with human rights research

For Shirin Afsous, the problem of sex trafficking in the Middle East hits home. The 2012 graduate of the University of Mary Washington was born in Iran and grew up making occasional visits to the country with her family. When Afsous learned that human rights activist Leila Asadi wanted help with research on gender and sexuality issues, Afsous jumped at the opportunity. Asadi is visiting professor at UMW this semester, where she’s continuing the research she began in the Middle East. Although hundreds of UMW students study abroad every year, undergraduate research like Afsous’ work with Asadi provides a way for students to make global connections without ever leaving the Fredericksburg campus. In Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, Afsous explained, research has shown that, in some cases, girls as young as 12 years old are engaged in prostitution rings. Some girls may see it as their only way out of poverty. Asadi, herself, fled Iran after one of her friends was arrested in … [Read more...]